96 Taurus AX4N drops out of gear

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#1
New to this forum and hope someone can help me. I just bought a 96 Taurus Vin U with 122K miles. The seller sold it cheap
due to a trans problem and needing an AC compressor along with a number of small issues. I drove it for a week while I was fixing the other items and did not experience the transmission issue until everything else was fixed.

Now when I first put it in OD it will move as usual until I come to a stop then after releasing the brake it will not move until I shift into neutral or reverse and back to OD. Shifting down into lower gears has no effect.
After shifting out of OD and back in I have to apply throttle as soon as the trans engages or it drops right back out of gear so it seems like it is OK as long as it is under load. Once it drops out of gear reving the egine will not make it move like it would if the pump was worn or leaking and was just low on pressure.
I do have a code P0741 which AllData tells me is a Torque converter clutch engagement error. The description further states that failed on would cause the car to shudder and stall the engine which does not happen so if it is the TCC system it must be failed off.
There is a footnote that says this code may be caused by other non electrical hardware.

It is this footnote that concerns me along with my general lack of knowledge of how this unit operates. It would seem that since once the transmission is engaged and I am driving it performs fine, no slipping or shifting issues that the mechanical parts are OK. But if the TCC solenoid is the problem I have been told that the TC clutch does not activate below 35 MPH. So I need help diagnosing the issue.

I have checked and cleaned the connector on the case. And I tried disconnecting the range selector switch as I read that it can cause issues when it fails. Filter and fluid are new and the level is correct.

Thanks!
 

bp042665

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#2
well what i have seen on this module transmission is the thrush washer breaks and the drum will move and loose pressure but when you move the shifter out of the drive position it will move the drum back the other way and then it will reseal so it is a internal problem just what i have seen not saying it is your problem
 
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#3
Thank you for the response. Can you be more specific as to where the thrust washer is? I assume I have to pull the trans and disassemble to get to it to check it?
 

keith

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#5
there is TBS on this issue, I think it was a piston seal that leaked when released or something. Might be the trust washer thing, I just dont remember now. Anyway my bother had the exact problem you have. These transmissions are a pain to remove. I am sure someone could pull up the TSB for you.
 
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#7
Found TSB 98-3-7 that talks about a bonded seal not sealing on the forward clutch piston. The symptoms are a little different in that the TSB talks about the neutral condition happening for both forward and reverse where in my case only forward gears are affected. The piston looks to be located inside the 1st gear clutch housing so would require major disassembly with the trans removed.

Looks like the trans will be coming out anyway so I think I'll see what I can get in a used one.
 
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#8
So installed a used trans from a local yard over the weekend. Long job but not too tough. Worst part was removing the exhaust Y pipe. Damn near impossible to get to the rear manifold bolts.
Car is operating smoothly and I am pleased with the results. Trans cost $350 with 122k miles which coincidently matched up with the miles on the vehicle. I normally pass on extended warranties but the yard offers a parts and labor warranty for $70. They will come pick up the car, replace the trans and return it to me if anything should go wrong in the next 6 months. Brought the total with tax to $449. Seems reasonable enough.